St. Mary's Seahawks Celebrate 2011-12

l-r.: Jackie Brady, Paige Decker, Gordy Lamphere, Michael Victory, Kelly Heyde, Dylan Cope, Cameron Hedquist

St. Mary’s City, Md. – The St. Mary’s College of Maryland Department of Athletics and Recreation celebrated the 2011-12 academic year on Tuesday night with the annual athletics reception.  Each of the Seahawks’ 17 varsity teams as well as college administrators and athletics staff attended the event.

“I would like to thank the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for putting together an excellent end of the year awards program where we were able to recognize outstanding individual performances and team accomplishments over the past year,” said Scott Devine, Director of Athletics & Recreation. 

Highlighting the evening, the Seahawks distributed the department’s seven major awards – the Female Athlete of the Year, the Male Athlete of the Year, the Female Rookie Athlete of the Year, the Male Rookie Athlete of the Year, the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The Female Athlete of the Year Award was given to junior women’s swimmer Kelly Heyde (Wilton, Conn./Wilton).  Heyde, who qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championships for the third straight year, is now a three-time defending Capital Athletic Conference champion in the 200 and 400 individual medleys as well as the 200 butterfly after capturing all three events at the 2012 CAC Championship meet.  She also picked up all-conference honors in a maximum four relay events at this year’s conference championships.  Heyde was a four-time CAC swimmer of the week this year while earning December Athlete of the Month honors.  She contributed to the Seahawks’ record-setting 800 free relay team as the lead-off swimmer en route to earning her third straight team MVP award.

Junior men’s swimmer Cameron Hedquist (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) was the recipient of the Male Athlete of the Year Award.  Hedquist set four St. Mary’s team records in the 100 freestyle and the 200 individual medley as well as the 200 and 400 medley relays.  He is the 2012 conference champion in the 200 IM while being selected as this year’s team MVP.  Hedquist earned all-league honors in the maximum seven events while earning St. Mary’s January Athlete of the Month honors.

The Female Rookie Athlete of the Year Award went to dual-sport first-year player Paige Decker (Clarksville, Md./River Hill).  Decker has had a tremendous impact on the success of the field hockey and women’s lacrosse teams in 2011-12.  She was awarded the CAC Field Hockey Co-Rookie of the Year to become only the second St. Mary’s field hockey player to ever receive the award.  Decker finished the season tied for first on the team in goals and game-winning goals.  She is a starting low defender on the women’s lacrosse team that led the Seahawks and the conference in caused turnovers.  In addition to her defensive efforts, Decker scored four goals on for four shots this year and tallied three draw controls.  She was rewarded for her play on the lacrosse field with second team All-CAC honors.

Men’s swimmer first-year Dylan Cope (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) was the recipient of this year’s Male Rookie Athlete of the Year Award.  Cope set four Seahawk team records in the 100 and 200 backstroke events as well as the 200 and 400 medley relays.  When he set the 100 back record, Cope broke the oldest existing record in the annals.  He earned all-conference honors in the 100 and 200 back events as well as the 200 and 400 medley relays and the 400 freestyle relay.

This year’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award went to women’s tennis senior player Jackie Brady (Thurmont, Md./Catoctin) as the biology major posted a 3.989 cumulative grade point average.  Brady is a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma and Beta Beta Beta honor societies, on the Dean’s List, and a St. Mary’s Junior and Senior Scholar.  She captained the women’s tennis team, was a member of the Hawkettes dance team, and a member of the Dance Club.  Brady will be researching for a year before attending graduate school for either microbiology or molecular biology. 

Sailing senior Gordy Lamphere (Lake Forest, Ill./Tabor Academy [Mass.]) was the recipient of this year’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.  Lamphere posted a 3.87 cumulative grade point average as a political science major.  He is a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma and Phi Alpha Theta honor societies, on the Dean’s List, and a Junior St. Mary’s Scholar.  Lamphere served as co-captain of the varsity sailing team, vice president of the Jiu Jitsu Club, and a current member of the United States Sailing Olympic Development Team.  He will be travelling this summer with the United States Sailing Team in Europe and plans on pursuing a career in maritime law.

A couple more student-athletes were recognized throughout the evening for their tremendous contributions.  The Athletic Director’s Award was bestowed to baseball senior pitcher Michael Victory (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy).  Victory garnered the award because of the positive leadership qualities he displayed over his entire career, but most especially the last two years serving as team captain.  In addition to the significant time commitment of being a four-year varsity athlete, he has always been a strong student while finding ways to be involved with many different things on campus including Hawk Radio, serving as an intramurals supervisor, and volunteering as a student assistant coach for the women’s basketball program. 

Devine expressed, “Each year, I get to present the Athletic Director’s Award to a senior who has impacted the athletic department and the College in a special way.  It is always a difficult decision because there are so many talented student-athletes to choose from.  Congratulations to Mike and our thanks to him for the time and energy he has dedicated to helping advance Seahawk athletics.”

The Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) honored men’s lacrosse senior midfielder Jake Wilhelm (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) with the SAAC Award.  The award was presented to Wilhelm by SAAC advisor and assistant athletic trainer, Stephanie Guzzo.  He served on the SAAC executive board this year, helping to make this one of the most successful years for SAAC in recent memory.  Through Wilhelm’s leadership, SAAC conducted successful food and toy drives and put on an enjoyable field day for Special Olympics Maryland – St. Mary’s County Chapter.

The evening also saw appearances and warm remarks from St. Mary’s College President Dr. Joseph Urgo and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Beth Rushing. 

“I want to thank President Joe Urgo, Vice President for Academic Affairs Beth Rushing, and NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative Jeff Byrd for their ongoing support of our collective efforts to deliver the very best student-athlete experience possible,” added Devine.

This year’s reception concluded with the presentation of the 2011-12 highlight video put together by women’s soccer sophomore midfielder Katherine Schaffer (Ellicott City, Md./River Hill) and athletic department photographer and sports information assistant, William Wood.

“Lastly, on behalf of our student-athletes and our staff, special thanks to Kat and Bill for their work on the highlight video.  It takes a great deal of time over the course of the year to put this together and we appreciate their effort on this project,” concluded Devine.

The reception was a great success full of camaraderie and genuine appreciation of the accomplishments achieved by each of the Seahawks’ 17 varsity teams.